The nose and sinuses play important roles in breathing, the ability to smell and taste, and in the defence against infections and pollution. Like any other organ, the nose and sinuses are at susceptible to the development of diseases. These commonly include allergies and/or sinusitis, that can cause symptoms such as nasal blockage, runny nose, post-nasal drip, sinus pain or pressure, and decreased sense of smell. Often, blockage can be specifically due to enlarged inferior turbinates or a deviated nasal septum, for which there exists excellent medical and/or surgical treatments, many of which can be done outside of the operating room. On occasion, these symptoms can be caused by other diagnoses such as nasal polyps, or much more rarely nasal tumors. For these problems, it is important to consult with a qualified ear nose and throat specialist.
At ENT Specialty Group, our team of highly specialized clinicians are not only experienced surgeons, but medical experts with access to the latest treatments for all disorders of the nose and sinuses. Our fellowship-trained rhinologists are able to tackle the gamut of nose and sinus disorders by first performing an accurate diagnostic workup, with access to sinonasal endoscopy, and both laboratory and imaging tests. Tailored treatment options can then be discussed to find the best solution for your individual problem.
In cases when the nasal septum is deviated, patients may feel that their nasal passages are mostly blocked on one side. Sometimes, the blockage can be felt on both sides since the inferior turbinates grow and become enlarged as a result of allergies or simply to fill up the empty space caused by the deviated septum. Occasionally, these symptoms can be improved with certain medications, but more often a corrective surgery is required for better relief. This usually consists of a short and relatively painless operation under general anesthesia in the hospital, followed by discharge home the same day. Some patients with obstructive sleep apnea that have difficulty using their CPAP machines because of nasal blockage may also benefit from this kind of surgery, but they may need to stay under observation one night in hospital afterwards.
If the problem is mainly caused by enlargement of the inferior turbinates, patients may complain of nasal blockage that changes from one side to the other every 30 minutes to 3 hours, that gets worse when lying flat, and that responds well to nasal decongestant sprays. These types of sprays are not a good solution since they can cause rebound nasal obstruction when they wear off and often result in a dependence of use that is difficult to stop. For this reason, we do not recommend their use for more that 3 to 5 days in a row. The good news is that a quick and highly effective non-medicated alternative treatment can be offered to certain cases, consisting of a coblation procedure. This procedure takes around 15 minutes under local anesthesia and uses a special probe to cause long-term airway improvement. Speak to one of our specialized doctors.
Deviation or deformities of the external part of the nose can also cause nasal blockage or esthetic concerns. For these types of problems, we also have specially trained surgeons that can offer their expertise in tailoring a solution.
Surgical disorders of the nose and sinus can range from the very simple deviated septum or turbinate enlargement, to the very complicated chronic sinusitis case with severe nasal polyps or even, in rare instances, nasal tumors. Patients with nasal polyps suffer from constant symptoms of nasal blockage, excessive mucus production, loss of sense of smell, and occasional facial pain, pressure or discomfort. Many advances in medical management have recently come to light, and some are currently being investigated at the McGill University Health Centre. Our doctors can help direct appropriate patients towards new and cutting edge treatments for nasal polyps. Whatever the problem, our highly specialized surgeons have the training and experience to offer the most advanced surgical care available.